Northern Ireland

County Tyrone crash: Family say drunk-driver sentence 'too lenient'

Omagh Crown Court
Image caption Paul Nicholl admitted causing death by careless driving with excess alcohol and causing grievous bodily injury

A County Tyrone family have said the sentence handed down to the drunk-driver who killed their father was "too lenient".

Paul Nicholl, 50, of Carnkenny Road, Newtownstewart, drank beer and took diazepam before the collision which killed GAA fan Patrick McCroary.

He was jailed on Tuesday for two-and-a half-years.

He will serve a further two-and-a-half years on licence and has been banned from driving for six years.

In a statement, the McCroary family called the sentence a "real insult".

"I feel as a family we have been really let down by the justice system," the statement said.

It added: "I feel the justice system in regards to drink driving has not just failed our family but failed many families in recent times and will continue to do so until the law changes.

Image copyright Picture provided by family
Image caption Patsy McCroary was killed in the crash near Sion Mills

"So how can he take my Dad's life but have his own back after two-and-a-half years? Where is the justice in this?"

"Pain and heartache"

The crash happened near Sion Mills, when Mr McCroary, 62, was travelling towards Strabane with his wife, son and daughter.

The rest of the family were badly injured, but survived the crash.

Nicholl was two-and-a-half-times over the drink-drive limit when he caused the crash in January 2014.

The statement continued: "As every day goes by we miss Daddy more and more. Paul Nicholl has caused a lot of pain and heartache to our family.

"By his selfish act of drink-driving he has torn our family apart as all dad lived for was his family and GAA."

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